The Reducing Reoffending Third Sector Advisory Group (RR3) is a voluntary sector advisory group to the government, which Clinks chairs and provides the secretariat for. Anne Fox, Clinks CEO and chair of the RR3, gives an update on some of the group’s latest work and explains how you can apply to join the group.
What is the RR3 and what does it do?
The RR3 is a group of 15 openly recruited senior leaders from the voluntary sector who meet quarterly to provide advice and challenge to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) on their policy programmes. I am delighted to chair the group and Clinks is proud to provide the secretariat. Members are appointed to the group for their individual expertise, not as representatives of their organisations. Clinks believes that the government makes better policy when it is informed by the extensive expertise, knowledge and experience of the voluntary sector, and this is what the RR3 aims to do.
In our meetings so far this year, we’ve given advice to government officials on a range of issues including the probation review and health provision in the criminal justice system. We also discussed with Dr Jo Farrar her priorities as Chief Executive of HMPPS. In addition to advising officials at our quarterly meetings, we have produced focussed policy work. We set up a Special Interest Group to explore how to improve employment support for people in contact with the criminal justice system; and we were commissioned earlier this year, by a cross-ministerial group run from the Cabinet Office, to produce a paper on the barriers people face in accessing bank accounts and Universal Credit in advance of leaving prison and on release.
The latest work of the group
In our last meeting in early September, we heard from the MoJ regarding their rapid internal review into sentencing. The review is considering whether to increase the length of time people convicted of some violent and sexual crimes spend in prison and taking a more punitive approach towards ‘prolific offenders’. At the meeting, the RR3 group raised concerns to officials of the damaging impact increasing sentences can have, and criticised the way in which the department has conducted this review, particularly the lack of transparency. The group were invited to participate formally in the review via a telephone interview, but declined on account that the framing of the review assumes a presumption of longer sentences and that the questions being posed do not adequately reflect the severity or complexity of the issues. We notified the MoJ of our decision in a letter.
The group also fed back to MoJ and HMPPS on their current work on improving accommodation provision for people leaving prison. This follows work conducted by a special interest group set up by the RR3, which made a number of recommendations to government on how they can meet the accommodation needs of people in contact with the criminal justice system, all of which were accepted. The RR3 was joined by three members of the special interest group for the agenda item. The chair and secretariat will consider how the RR3 can continue prioritising this issue. You can read full minutes from the meeting here.
Exciting opportunities to join the RR3
Seven incumbent members of the RR3 are nearing the end of their respective maximum four year terms, triggering an open recruitment process for their roles.
Members are appointed for their experience and expertise in a specific area of reducing reoffending, and must be a senior leader in a voluntary organisation currently working in that area. Members are however appointed as individuals, not as representatives of their organisations. We particularly welcome applications from people with lived experience of the criminal justice system who now work in the voluntary sector.
The roles we are recruiting for, cover these seven specialist areas (click on each role for full role descriptions and how to apply):
- Providing specialist support to black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people
- Delivering education services to people who are, or have been, in contact with the criminal justice system
- Delivering employment support services to people who are, or have been, in contact with the criminal justice system
- Supporting families of people in contact with the criminal justice system
- Meeting the health and wellbeing needs of people in contact with the criminal justice system
- Providing services to people in contact with the criminal justice system deemed to be of high-risk of harm to others
- Addressing challenges and promoting best practice in prisons and resettlement services.
The deadline for applications is 9am Thursday 17th October 2019. Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held in central London on Monday 4th, Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th November 2019, and can be held over video call if needed. We would also like the successful candidate to attend the next RR3 meeting, which will take place on Tuesday 3rd December 2019 in central London.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions on the work of the RR3, or about any of the vacancies.